September Twenty Sixteen

September is my favorite month. I didn’t realize this until now, writing this. Thinking back, it always has been. Life slows down, kids go back to school, people get back into their routines, it’s not so busy out and about, the heat is almost gone, it’s the changing of seasons (fall and winter are my favorite)… so many benefits. Plus, we have two kiddo birthdays and our anniversary (14 years this time around). And it starts with a three-day weekend. Like a welcome to the best month greeting.

I remember having to select which year-round schedule I wanted in middle school. We’d go three months, have one month off, and then repeat. It was a way to deal with overpopulation of the school since there would always be a group of kids not in school. The popular tracks were the ones with summer months off. My track, C track, wasn’t very popular. And I still don’t understand why… the months off were September, January, and May. And with January, we had the last two weeks in December off for the holidays so I ended up with six weeks of no school. And come June, the school year ended and there was a transition between school years with two weeks off so I still had a bit of time in the summer. September is the best. January is a second favorite… a fresh start and a new year. I never realized I had favorite months.

As always, my memory needs help with pictures. Let’s see what the best month had to offer:

LEGOing. It appears Blaise made a LEGO creation and he was quite proud.

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Proof Saige naps outside of her room?! I have no idea what we did that made her so tired she fell asleep on the couch. I’m thinking I transferred her from her car seat and she stayed asleep. I don’t remember.

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Dollar Tree. I still don’t know how I only learned about this store last Christmas. It’s such a great place for random art supplies and cheap Play-Doh.

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Camp Orkila. The big kiddos had their semi-annual Camp Orkila trip with Brian over Labor Day. Ridiculous amounts of pictures may be seen here.

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Blaise date. I took Blaisey Daisy on a date to the Art of the Brick LEGO exhibit followed by lunch at the Space Needle. Again, ridiculous amounts of pictures may be seen here.

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Outdoor Explorers. Part of our homeschooling includes outsourcing. The kiddos attend an outdoor class Thursdays, focusing on science. It’s held at various parks around the area and back at Keep It Simple Farms once a month. It’s the next step up from their outdoor preschool which they attended for two years, twice a week. Outside, rain or shine. We asked their teacher/preschool director last year if she’d be up for offering a homeschool class and she was. We’re so thankful. We love the program. And I’m slightly jealous I never had this type of opportunity as a kid.

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Baby cage. The best part of having a trampoline net… it makes a great big playpen. And bonus, she gets air when she scoots.

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Six! Blaise is six. We celebrated the guy on September 9, his actual birthday.

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Park day. Vaile about to get her park play on. She looks thrilled (she just woke up).

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Where’s Snugs? She caught my attention as I was putting toys away. She has all these spots around the house. I never know where she is… like that one time I closed the washer lid on her (not to start a load, only to close the lid). Four hours later, I found her. Now I’m super careful with all potential hiding spots.

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My foot. I broke my right foot Saturday morning after Blaise’s birthday. We have a glamorous, made-up story and then there’s the real one. Story #1: I heard a cat crying in the woods behind out house. It cried all day and night, and I went to see if it needed help. The poor thing was stuck up high in a tree. I climbed up to rescue the cat, and as I grabbed her I lost my footing and it was either drop the cat and catch myself from falling or save the cat and fall and break my foot. I saved the cat. Story #2: I tripped walking down the step into our garage and fell on my foot.

Man, it hurt. It hurt worse than anything pregnancy or childbirth. At first I thought it was only a sprain but after a day of crawling everywhere and not being able to put any weight on the sucker, I went to urgent care Sunday. Yep, it was broken. There it was on the X-Ray, a nice line on my fifth metatarsal. They gave me an urgent care cast that I had to leave on until I was seen by the orthopedic doctor. Urgent Care said to wait until Thursday to be seen; the orthopedic doctor wanted to see me Monday morning. Brian took the day off and to the doctor we went.

I only needed a boot. The best news. Urgent Care said I’d likely need a full-on cast for six to eight weeks, and I wouldn’t be able to drive. I was not loving life. It was the week the kiddos were starting more homeschooling outsourcing and I needed to be able to get them here, there, and everywhere. We keep a busy schedule and I needed to be able to drive. What was so great about the boot is the doctor said I’d be able to take it off to drive after about three weeks. He left it on me to determine how my foot felt. I cheated a bit and took it off just shy of two weeks. Lisa was able to help out with driving and when I felt I was up for it, I tested driving with her in the co-pilot seat in case I wouldn’t be able to… thankfully I was.

Driving was a complete hassle having to take the boot off and put it back on every time I needed to get out of the car. I mean, I was happy I could drive, but it was a major pain in the arse. After about five weeks I was able to wear a shoe instead of the boot. Again, the doctor left it up to me to wear a shoe when I felt comfortable. I can’t say it was 100% comfortable but it wasn’t the boot. I kept it in the boot at home still but being out and about with a shoe was better.

Back to the pictures… Brian took the Monday off so he could cart me around to the doctor and a few other errands. While I was at the doctor, he took the kiddos to Top Pot and then the park until I was ready to be picked up.

sept2016-145 sept2016-146 sept2016-148 Note Blaise’s socks with sandals… a natural born PNW kiddo.

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ProjectFUN. The week before we officially started homeschooling, I learned about a homeschool program at DigiPen. They offered a reading and writing class that happened to fall on a day we had nothing planned. I signed them up not really knowing much about the program. It looked great, timing was perfect, and the location was doable. I’m so happy I signed them up. They love the program, and even asked to stay for the afternoon physics class. It makes for a long day and they come home exhausted (even saying they’re tired). I can only imagine how they’d deal with a long school day, every day. Homeschooling for the win.

sept2016-157 sept2016-159Awkward smiles. =)


Fingerprints.
The plan is to get together with another homeschool friend for science every-other week. We had our first time together and focused on fingerprints. The kiddos and I were working on an all about me theme. Fingerprints made sense. They each took their fingerprints and them examined them with a magnifying glass, talking about the differences. I had a handout too. I feel so official, haha. They made a tree with fingerprint leaves as an art project. It was a fun start to what will be a regular thing.

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Chalk shaving. I had shaved some chalk to lift fingerprints from surfaces with tape. They were more interested in shaving the chalk.

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Two! Saige turned two on September 17. Which is nearly impossible to go from being five to two. She’s pretty impressive.

Posin’. Blaise is going through this posing phase. He’s always making faces or posing in the mirror. And now when we take his picture, he’s starting to pose more often than not. This night, while brushing his teeth, he asked Brian to take some pictures of him.

Smile. Blaise also asks us to take pictures of things he makes.

Puzzler. Blaise has always been a puzzler. Even at nine months, he was doing those Melissa & Doug 12-piece wooden puzzles. He’s a natural problem solver. He’s moved up to 500-piece puzzles. I usually help get the border going and then he takes on the rest. We all will stop by the table here and there, putting a few pieces together. He will sit for an hour or two at a time until the puzzle is finished.

Wilderness Awareness School. The kiddos attend a monthly program through the Wilderness Awareness School. It’s one of the first programs I learned about back when I started researching homeschooling classes in the area. I knew they’d go. And bonus, it’s held here in Carnation. I had a mom fail taking their picture on the first day before they went… this is at pick-up. Of course Saige thought she was part of things and had to wear Laine’s backpack. I don’t think Laine had any complaints.

Scissors! Mr. Safety (Brian) used to flip when I gave Blaise and Laine real scissors before they were two. They were both interested and I figured they may as well learn how to use them correctly. Between Blaise and Laine, we only had one minor hand cut when Blaise was about 1.5 years. That’s not too shabby. Since Saige thinks she’s five (she’ll even tell you she’s five), she uses scissors. It’s her favorite art room thing to do. And Mr. Safety still freaks out… even though Saige has been scissoring for months. No cuts for her (yet). I take that back; her favorite thing is to color on the table, haha. Magic erasers are in fact, magic.

Markers. Saige drew on Vaile. Vaile didn’t care. Which reminds me of the day I was pregnant with Vaile and was so tired, all I wanted to do was sleep. Blaise, Laine, and Saige (who was maybe eight months) were playing on the family room floor. The big kiddos asked me if they could color on Saige. I said yes. Everyone was happy and they were all occupied for a while while I rested on the couch.

Laine face. Brian ran upstairs to do something. I grabbed his phone and asked Laine to make a silly face. We made it his lock screen so when he went to use his phone next, she’d be greeting him with this face. This is typical Laine… she’s the clown of the family.

Biggest and littlest. Blaise is my co-parent when Brian isn’t home. He takes care of Vaile on his own without me asking. Here he was feeding her lunch. I’m not even sure what that food is?!

New gear. We bought new outdoor school gear for the kiddos. Their old boots had holes in the neoprene and they both have grown, needing larger sizes. And with weekly ski lessons around the corner, we bought better base layers. They wanted their pictures taken. Saige got in the action. Because she’s pretty sure she should be going to outdoor school, too. Next fall, kiddo.

Tree climber. Laine gets up there. They’ve discovered climbing trees is easier barefoot.

Hay Vaile. The last Thursday of each month, the kiddos are back at Keep It Simple Farms for Outdoor Explorers. It’s where their outdoor preschool was the last two years. They know the farm well. After their class ends, we typically stick around an hour or two to play around. Vaile got in on the action, scooting around the hay.

Tolt playground. There is a new playground at Tolt. The old one was ripped out and after a few months, the new one opened. It was a beautiful morning. We played there with some neighbor friends before heading into Sammamish to meet up with some homeschool friends at a park there. We parked for about five hours. It was a great way to spend what ended up being a sad Friday. Mayah died that night. She hadn’t been doing well but was still trucking along.

We made it home about 4pm and the kiddos went straight out back. Mayah came out with us, nosing about the backyard. Typical Mayah. After the kiddos ate dinner, Brian took them up to do the bedtime routine. I stayed downstairs to clean up. Mayah was lying under the high chair after cleaning up the floor from Vaile. She wasn’t getting up but still aware. I picked her up and sat on the couch, cradling her in my arms. She calmed and began the dying process. I was familiar with this after Leilah died in my arms last May. That was tough. I still cry thinking about her. She wasn’t supposed to go yet. We knew Mayah’s time was coming. Which didn’t make it any less hard emotionally, but we were prepared. Mayah passed about 6:30pm and I just continued to hold her. Melvin was by my feet. It was calm, sad, peaceful… I had been emailing our vet and she offered to come get Mayah’s body that night for cremation. I held Mayah a bit longer before we wrapped her in a towel and placed her body in a box. I still miss the old gal. She’s hanging out with Leilah and Worm on top of the kitchen cabinets. Maybe this is weird but it’s what we always did with our cremated animals growing up.

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September, check.

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